Zane Bresloff - Colorful wrestling promoter, whose promotion of "Wrestlemania III" in Pontiac, Michigan in 1987 drew a reported 93,000 fans, the largest indoor crowd ever to witness a pro-wrestling show in the United States, died June 20 in Denver from injuries suffered in a car accident on May 16. He was 57 years old.
Pete Carlesimo - College athletic director and basketball coach, who served as the executive director of the NIT basketball tournament from 1978 to 1988, who is credited with saving the tournament by creating the Preseason NIT and by putting early round games at campus sites to increase attendance, and who is the father of college and pro basketball coach P.J. Carlesimo, died June 22 in Montclair, NJ at age 87.
Chuck Carroll - One of the University of Washington's biggest football stars, who was an All-American running back and linebacker in the late 1920’s, who later became a well-known county prosecutor whose tenure ended in the taint of a corruption scandal for which he was later absolved, died June 23 in Seattle at age 96.
Hildreth “Hilly” Flitcraft - Left-handed pitcher who played one season for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1942, and whose name always appears in lists of ballplayers with funny names (which includes Elmer Klumpp and Boots Poffenberger), died April 2 in Boulder, CO at age 79.
Marc-Vivien Foe - Cameroon soccer player who was in Lyon, France playing in a Confederations Cup semifinal game against Columbia, fell during play of the game and was carried off the field but could not be resuscitated. He was 28 years old and the cause of death is unknown. (Cameroon went on to defeat Columbia 1-0).
Gladys Heldman - Founder of World Tennis magazine, whose work in covering and promoting women's tennis helped pave the way for the start of the women's pro tour in the United States, and who was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979, died June 22 in Santa Fe, NM at age 81.
Leonard Koppett - Baseball Hall of Fame journalist and author, who wrote columns about baseball for newspapers around the country, including 20 years for The Sporting News, and who wrote 15 books, including “The Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball”, died June 22 of a heart attack at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco at age 79.
Austin Knowlton - Co-founder of the Cincinnati Bengals NFL team in 1967, who served as the team’s chairman for 20 years, died June 25 in Fort Lauderdale, FL at age 93.
Max Manning - Negro Leagues pitcher who was nicknamed “Dr. Cyclops” for his thick eyeglasses, who played 10 years for the Newark Eagles and lead them to the 1946 championship, and who was once offered a tryout with the Detroit Tigers only to have it rescinded when they found out he was black, died June 23 after a long illness in Pleasantville, NJ at age 84.
Fred Small - College football player at the University of Washington from 1981 to 1984, who played on teams that won the Rose Bowl in 1982 and Orange Bowl in 1985, who played one season in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and who became a motorcycle policeman after retiring from football, was killed in a motorcycle accident on June 24 in Pomona, CA at age 39.
Chris Valovich - Veteran jockey who won 2,034 races over the last 20 years, who was prominent on the Midwest circuit riding primarily at Chicago-area tracks Ak-Sar-Ben, and Canterbury Park, died June 20 in Phoenix from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at age 41.
Art and Literature
Staige Blackford - Rhodes Scholar and political speechwriter who was editor of the prestigious Virginia Quarterly Review, one of the nation's oldest literary journals, was killed in a car accident on June 23 in Charlottesville, VA one week before his retirement. He was 72 years old.
Vasil Bykov - One of the best-known and most talented writers in this former Soviet republic of Belarus and a harsh critic of its authoritarian leader, who was best known for his war stories, which focused on the moral dilemmas of battle, and whose works like “Sign of Misfortune” and “Alpine Ballad”, have been translated into more than 40 languages, died June 22 of cancer in Minsk, Belarus at age 79.
I. Bernard Cohen - Newton scholar and Harvard educator who studied the history of science and was best known for his study of the work of Isaac Newton, and who published numerous books, including the 900-page volume of Newton’s work “Principia Mathematica”, died June 20 in Waltham, MA at age 89.
Sara Ann Freed - Highly respected crime fiction editor who was editor-in-chief of Mysterious Press and senior editor at Warner Books, who edited authors like Marcia Muller, Margaret Maron, James Patterson and Robert Greer, and who was awarded an Ellery Queen Award in 1999 by the Mystery Writers of America, died June 25 in New York City of leukemia at age 57.
Zofia Hertz - Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the leading Polish émigré literary magazine Kultura, who helped found the periodical in 1947 after she was deported from Poland during WW2, died June 21 at age 92.
Moshe Kupferman - Holocaust survivor who became one of Israel’s leading abstract artists, whose paintings and drawings were influenced by his experiences in the Polish detention centers and have been displayed worldwide, died of a heart attack on June 20 in Jerusalem at age 77.
“Larry” (real name Terence Parkes) - One of Britain’s most loved joke cartoonists, known for his instantly recognizable captionless cartoons featuring large-nosed characters, whose work appeared in Punch magazine as well as numerous books and advertisements in publications worldwide, died June 25 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England at age 74.
John Fergus Ryan - Irreverent humorist and author who penned “The Redneck Bride” (1982), “The Little Brothers of St. Mortimer” (1991 – made into the 1999 film “The White River Kid”) and “Watching” (1997), died June 17 of complications from diabetes and Parkinson's disease in Memphis at age 72.
Fred Sandback - Sculptor internationally known for his Minimalist works made from lengths of colored yarn, which created subtle and complex perceptual effects, committed suicide on June 23 at his New York City studio at age 59.
Leon Uris - Best-selling author whose 1958 novel “Exodus” was translated into 50 languages, who is known for his action-filled war stories including “Battle Cry”, “Mila 18”, “The Third Temple” and “The Haj”, and who wrote the screenplay for the 1957 blockbuster “Gunfight at the OK Corral”, died June 21 of heart & kidney failure at his home on New York's Shelter Island at age 78.
Politics and Military
John G. Adams - General counsel for the Army in the early 1950’s best known for his clashes with anti-Communist crusader Joseph McCarthy, who was able to counter McCarthy’s bullying tactics and eventually got him charged with interfering with Army affairs, which led to his eventual censuring, died June 26 in Dallas at age 91.
E. LaMar Baker - U.S. Congressman from Tennessee who served as a Republican from 1970 to 1974, died June 20 in Nashville at age 87.
Prince Carl Bernadotte - Swedish prince who was the uncle of Norway’s King Harald, and brother of Belgium’s queen Astrid, and who was considered a member of Norway’s royal family (which is a constitutional monarchy with no power), died June 27 at his home in Spain at age 92.
Piet Dankert - Member of the European Parliament and chairman from 1982 to 1984 who was a leading proponent of a federal Europe, died June 21 in Amsterdam, Netherlands at age 69.
Maynard Jackson - The first black mayor of a major Southern city, who was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1973 and served until 1981, and again from 1989 through 1993, who transformed the politics in Atlanta and America by forcing the white business elite to hire minority-owned contractors, died June 23 in Arlington, VA after collapsing at the Washington, DC airport. He was 65.
Lester Maddox - Pro-segregation governor of Georgia from 1967 to 1971, known for his outrageously racist behavior like refusing to close the Capitol for the funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and using pick handles and a gun to chase blacks away from his fried chicken restaurant, and who never backed down from his convictions, even after other hard-line Southern governors apologized, died June 25 in Atlanta of pneumonia developed after suffering a fall two weeks prior. He was 87.
José Trías Monge - Puerto Rican historian, scholar and chief justice from 1974 to 1985, who helped draft Puerto Rico’s constitution which took effect in 1952 in which the country was bound voluntarily to the U.S., but who later denounced this relationship as colonialism, died June 24 in Boston at age 83.
Bob Stump - Longtime U.S. Congressman from Arizona, who served as a Democrat from 1976 until 1981 and as a Republican from 1982 until 2002, and who was known as a strong supporter of increased spending on the military and veterans, died June 20 in Phoenix of myelodysplasia, a rare blood disorder, at age 76.
Sir Denis Thatcher - Husband of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who embraced his role as the second fiddle husband who remained two or three paces behind his famous wife, died June 26 in London, five months after heart surgery, at age 88.
Strom Thurmond - South Carolina Senator who won his first election in 1928, who was the longest-serving and oldest U.S. Senator in history, serving 48 years and retiring in 2003, who ran for president in 1948 on the anti-civil rights Dixiecrat party ticket, but whose racial politics changed over the years and he became the first southern senator to hire a black aide, died June 26 in Edgefield, SC at age 100.
Israel "Ike" Tribble - Tampa Bay, Florida civic leader who was the first black chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and who was a leader in civil rights and education, died June 21 in Tampa Bay of complications from his third liver transplant at age 61.
Social and Religion
Dr. Suzanne Ahn - Neurologist and Dallas-area social activist, who championed rights for women and Asian Americans and who lobbied Congress to restore discrimination protection to Filipino-American and American Indians in Alaska, died June 22 of lung cancer in Dallas at age 51.
Eugene Carapetyan - Accomplished glider pilot and flight instructor, who was one of 50 glider pilots participating in the Return to Kitty Hawk celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, who planned a cross-country flight in 12 legs to arrive in Kitty Hawk on July 4, was killed on June 19 when his glider crashed in the San Gabriel Mountains in California. He was 61 years old.
Rex Cauble - Flamboyant Texas rancher and member of the famed Cowboy Mafia, who was convicted in 1982 for his part in helping to smuggle marijuana into Texas from South America, who had $12 million worth of assets seized by the government, and who was sentenced to 50 years in prison (but who served only 5 years), died June 23 in Durant, OK at age 89.
George George - St. Petersburg, Florida restaurant owner who drew national attention in 1952 when he posted the message “Coffee Free Welcome Saucers” on the roof in an attempt lure outer space aliens to his restaurant, and who was featured in Newsweek magazine, died June 23 in St. Petersburg at age 88.
Joseph Gottschalk - San Antonio, Texas man known as the “Thong Man” who gained local and national notoriety for riding his bicycle around town wearing only thong underwear, who in May served as grand marshal for a parade of thong-wearers, but who had been arrested recently for wearing a thong that didn’t “cover body parts required by law”, was found dead and naked on June 21 in Big Bend National Park, apparently from a fall while hiking in the nude. He was 52 years old.
Bryan Griffin - Florida boy who was swimming at his favorite swimming hole with friends on June 22 in the Dead River near Tavares, Florida, who was pulled from the water by his friends when they spotted an approaching alligator, but who inexplicably jumped back into the water, was attacked and killed by that alligtor. He was 12 years old.
Peter Herida - Connecticut man who once weighed in excess of 800 lbs, who underwent gastric bypass surgery in 1998 and subsequently lost more than 500 lbs, and whose story was featured on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” earlier in 2003, was found dead on June 26 in Meriden, CT of congestive heart failure at age 49.
Richard Pough - Conservationist and author, whose efforts to create wildlife sanctuaries led to the establishment of nature preserves all over the country, who wrote a series of Audubon guides on birds, and who helped to get numerous laws passed to reduce dangers and threats to wildlife populations in the U.S., died June 24 in Chilmark, MA at age 99.
Kristopher "Kit" Reilly & Colin Mike Ewers - College students (Reilly from New College in Florida, Ewers from Carleton College in Minnesota), who were taking part in an astronomy program sponsored by Cornell University, who were collecting data at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, but disappeared during a hiking trip on June 21, were found dead in the raging Tanama River, apparently drowning victims. Reilly was 24 and Ewers was 21.
Emma Taylor - The ninth oldest person in the United States and the 18th oldest in the world, died June 24 in Bakersfield, CA after a stroke at age 111.
Business and Science
Richard A. Gump Sr. - Co-founder in 1945 with Robert Strauss of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, Texas’ largest and one of the U.S.’s most powerful law firms, with more than 1000 lawyers worldwide, died June 21 in Dallas at age 85.
Elsa Kopp - Founder of the Milwaukee frozen desert chain Kopp’s Frozen Custard, who is generally credited with the idea of offering a flavor of the day, who started the business in 1950 and was one of the first to offer custard flavors other than vanilla, died June 8 of natural causes in Milwaukee at age 92.
Herbert Misch - Engineer at the Ford Motor Company who created the original prototype for the Ford Mustang in 1962, died June 23 in Royal Oak, MI at age 85.
Joe Pask - Internationally respected leader in the field of modern ceramic science and engineering, whose work on mullite, an alumina-silica compound used in engines, is a standard reference, died June 14 in Brentwood, CA at age 90.
Sandra Tangri - Social psychologist who did pioneering research on the entry of college-educated women into jobs traditionally dominated by men, whose studies helped map changes in the American work force in the 1960’s, and whose book “Women and Achievement” is considered one of the best in the field, died June 11 of lung cancer in Bethesda, MD at age 66.
Magnus von Braun - Brother of rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun, who played a pivotal role in Germany’s early development of Army missiles, who worked with his brother during WW2 and made the first contact with the U.S. Army to arrange for the German rocket team’s surrender at the end of the war, died June 21 in Phoenix at age 84.
Dr. Gregory J. White - Doctor who in the early 1950’s helped promote breastfeeding on a national scale, who helped his wife form the La Leche League International in 1956, serving on its advisory board for 46 years, and who also promoted home births, natural childbirth, the inclusion of fathers in the delivery room, died June 16 in River Forest, IL of leukemia at age 82.